When graduating high school, most teens have no idea what they want to do with the rest of their life. Many high school grads have a broad range of interests, and a lack of passion for most of them. Despite that, most people believe they need to attend a 4-year college in order to obtain a fulfilling career. What that career could be like would be anyone’s guess. When you think about it, “higher education” is a little bit convoluted. Show up on your first day, wing it until you figure out how the whole “college” thing works, plug away for 4 years, and walk away with a degree that promises to unlock doors in your career path. Some students are even willing to bury themselves in over $100,000 worth of debt just to obtain this degree. If this same premise was applied to any business scenario, it would be referred to as a gamble rather than an investment. While college is a popular career path to take, there is another career path that is often overlooked in our modern society; trades. While trade jobs may not have the allure of a more corporate position, there are countless perks and benefits to working in a trade.

Job Market & Job Security

Over the next 10 years, skilled trades jobs are expected to increase faster than the national average of all jobs (11%). Population and business growth, remodel and repair needs and maintenance of older structures are the reasons the Bureau of Labor Statistics gives for a roughly 20 percent average job growth rate in skilled trades careers. Perhaps one of the biggest positives to working as a tradesman is job security. Even in difficult economic times, households still need regular maintenance such as HVAC, plumbing and electrical work. Because of this, skilled technicians are in high demand, and there will always be work in these fields.

The High Cost of a Bachelor’s Degree

According to the department of labor, the average bachelor’s degree cost around $127,000. Because of this high cost, most people will end up taking out student loans and hope they are able to find a job that will allow them to pay the loans back. Around 44 million Americans owe $1.3 billion (yes, you read that right) in student loans and a large majority of those loans go into default. In addition to monetary cost, there is the cost of time. A bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete, whereas it only takes 2 years to become a service technician – that’s even including trade school, apprenticeships and certifications.

Average Salary

The average salary for someone right out of college is roughly $50,556. A service technician in the DC area earns around $47,620 and can have the potential to earn even more. In addition, these figures do not factor in the long term growth and earnings for service technicians. Don’t forget – it is unlikely for a service technician to have $100,000+ in student loans, making the $47k average go much further.

Those are just a few of the major reasons to consider a career path as a tradesman. For those who want to learn hands on, receive the best training the industry has to offer, and come out of training with a full time position at one of the fastest growing service companies in the nation, The Michael & Son Technical Academy is the way to go! Attendants can choose between fully immersed HVAC or Plumbing. With 12 weeks of classroom learning taught by field certified trainers with the latest industry knowledge and technology, it truly is the best training the industry has to offer! The Academy is located in Richmond, Virginia’s historic Wythe building. Attendees will have access to state-of-the-art training facilitates, and don’t worry if you are not a resident of the area, dormitories are available for out of state students!

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